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Crediting Poetry: The Nobel Lecture

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er 10, 1995. His Nobel Lecture offers a powerful defense of poetry as "the ship and the anchor" of our spirit within an ocean of violent, divisive world politics. er 10, 1995. His Nobel Lecture offers a powerful defense of poetry as "the ship and the anchor" of our spirit within an ocean of violent, divisive world politics.


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er 10, 1995. His Nobel Lecture offers a powerful defense of poetry as "the ship and the anchor" of our spirit within an ocean of violent, divisive world politics. er 10, 1995. His Nobel Lecture offers a powerful defense of poetry as "the ship and the anchor" of our spirit within an ocean of violent, divisive world politics.

30 review for Crediting Poetry: The Nobel Lecture

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sidharth Vardhan

    "We want what the woman wanted in the prison queue in Leningrad, standing there blue with cold and whispering for fear, enduring the terror of Stalin’s regime and asking the poet Anna Akhmatova if she could describe it all, if her art could be equal to it. And this is the want I too was experiencing in those far more protected circumstances in Co. Wicklow when I wrote the lines I have just quoted, a need for poetry that would merit the definition of it I gave a few moments ago, as an order “tru "We want what the woman wanted in the prison queue in Leningrad, standing there blue with cold and whispering for fear, enduring the terror of Stalin’s regime and asking the poet Anna Akhmatova if she could describe it all, if her art could be equal to it. And this is the want I too was experiencing in those far more protected circumstances in Co. Wicklow when I wrote the lines I have just quoted, a need for poetry that would merit the definition of it I gave a few moments ago, as an order “true to the impact of external reality and … sensitive to the inner laws of the poet’s being.”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Francisca

    i might change the rating with time but, at the moment, i loved this. seamus heaney's lecture after winning the nobel prize in 1995 had everything i have grown to love from his writing: politics withouth actually being in your face, an almost too subtle love for nature, nationalistic hope more than pride, and, more importantly, his appreciation of poetry as movement through music and sounds. in fifty pages, it moved me in a way his poetry has persistently done just as well in the past. nobel lect i might change the rating with time but, at the moment, i loved this. seamus heaney's lecture after winning the nobel prize in 1995 had everything i have grown to love from his writing: politics withouth actually being in your face, an almost too subtle love for nature, nationalistic hope more than pride, and, more importantly, his appreciation of poetry as movement through music and sounds. in fifty pages, it moved me in a way his poetry has persistently done just as well in the past. nobel lectures should be a genre on itself (gabriel garcía marquez' one is spectacular too--although i don't know whether it's available in translation or not) which only continues to agravate me after bob dylan's win and disrespectful reaction afterwards. this is the speech of a lifetime and it's the greatest opportunity an author might get of getting his view across beyond the rooms of a lecture hall. and heaney's point was exactly the one for his poetry was recognised in the first place: a love for his country and poetry and music, all wrapped into a single body.

  3. 5 out of 5

    T P Kennedy

    An excellent little volume. His prose sings in a manner reminiscent of his poetry. It's humorous, serious and eloquent. My only regret is that it's so brief. An excellent little volume. His prose sings in a manner reminiscent of his poetry. It's humorous, serious and eloquent. My only regret is that it's so brief.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jean Carlton

    Lately I’ve been attempting to learn more about poets and poetry; reading and listening to poetry, exploring the craft through writing some myself. In this effort I sought names of “famous” or respected poets and that’s how I heard of Seamus Heaney. This short volume is the speech he gave in Stockholm as he accepted the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. I was pleased to be able to relate to what he had to say about Irish history (which would not have been true before my trip to Ireland and rela Lately I’ve been attempting to learn more about poets and poetry; reading and listening to poetry, exploring the craft through writing some myself. In this effort I sought names of “famous” or respected poets and that’s how I heard of Seamus Heaney. This short volume is the speech he gave in Stockholm as he accepted the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. I was pleased to be able to relate to what he had to say about Irish history (which would not have been true before my trip to Ireland and related study) but other parts of it were a bit over my head – as is much poetry. The learning continues.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Danny

    Heaney is possibly my favorite poet. This, the lecture he gave when he accepted his Nobel Prize, is a quick but compelling read. The primary point of the lecture is to argue that poetry, although not always "the truth," is equal to "the truth" in that its goal is to express external reality while also being sensitive to the poet's internal perception of both external reality and himself. His examples are compelling. I think, one thing I struggle with is my own hopeful interpretation of a line ne Heaney is possibly my favorite poet. This, the lecture he gave when he accepted his Nobel Prize, is a quick but compelling read. The primary point of the lecture is to argue that poetry, although not always "the truth," is equal to "the truth" in that its goal is to express external reality while also being sensitive to the poet's internal perception of both external reality and himself. His examples are compelling. I think, one thing I struggle with is my own hopeful interpretation of a line near the end of the lecture that is likely not quite what he meant. Heaney spoke in the beginning about being a kid, and listening to the news on the radio, and not quite grasping the gravity and politics of it all. At the end of the lecture he said that, when he writes poetry, he is still that kid sitting on his sofa. He likely meant simply that he must process truth into his poetry only in the way he knows how - only in the way he perceives the world and its events. I like to think there was also a semblance of an anti-politic in there, that he also writes poetry as one who can perceive and record the world without getting wrapped up in the politics and weight of it all. That's likely an overread on my part, but I think it's a beautiful idea.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lauma Lapa

    What a truly excellent way of speaking about what poetry is. Re-reading this gets my hopes a little off the ground. In one of the poems best known to students in my generation, a poem which could be said to have taken the nutrients of the symbolist movement and made them available in capsule form, the American poet Archibald MacLeish affirmed that "A poem should be equal to/not true." As a defiant statement of poetry's gift for telling truth but telling it slant, this is both cogent and correctiv What a truly excellent way of speaking about what poetry is. Re-reading this gets my hopes a little off the ground. In one of the poems best known to students in my generation, a poem which could be said to have taken the nutrients of the symbolist movement and made them available in capsule form, the American poet Archibald MacLeish affirmed that "A poem should be equal to/not true." As a defiant statement of poetry's gift for telling truth but telling it slant, this is both cogent and corrective. Yet there are times when a deeper need enters, when we want the poem to be not only pleasurably right but compellingly wise, not only a surprising variation played upon the world, but a re-tuning of the world itself. We want the surprise to be transitive like the impatient thump which unexpectedly restores the picture to the television set, or the electric shock which sets the fibrillating heart back to its proper rhythm.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Mitchell

    I have a profound respect for him and his impact. He's one of those poets that managed to make the mundane come alive, and I love that. He captured the story of people who weren't traditionally having their story told. Plus, you can just tell that he's off the charts intelligent. I have a profound respect for him and his impact. He's one of those poets that managed to make the mundane come alive, and I love that. He captured the story of people who weren't traditionally having their story told. Plus, you can just tell that he's off the charts intelligent.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Corinne Fowler

    I'm sorry to say that I found the book to be kind of boring. It was tedious to me. But I think poets and academics will see something in it that I missed. I'm sorry to say that I found the book to be kind of boring. It was tedious to me. But I think poets and academics will see something in it that I missed.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    Beautiful discussion of what poetry is and can be. I felt comforted by a lot of what he said, considering what's going on in the world right now. Beautiful discussion of what poetry is and can be. I felt comforted by a lot of what he said, considering what's going on in the world right now.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    This is as dry a selection of writing as I have ever read. Do yourself a favor and read the one Toni Morrison or Gabriel García Márquez gave instead.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marko

    If you're questioning poetry's validity in a cruel world such as ours, Seamus Heaney has a thing or two to tell you. His Nobel lecture is a defense of poetry's role amidst all the sorrow & killing & injury. In brief: poetry is valuable to us for its "power to persuade that vulnerable part of our consciousness of its rightness in spite of the evidence of wrongness all around it." And so we are able to acknowledge the misery of our world & live with the pain--without despair. If you never once in y If you're questioning poetry's validity in a cruel world such as ours, Seamus Heaney has a thing or two to tell you. His Nobel lecture is a defense of poetry's role amidst all the sorrow & killing & injury. In brief: poetry is valuable to us for its "power to persuade that vulnerable part of our consciousness of its rightness in spite of the evidence of wrongness all around it." And so we are able to acknowledge the misery of our world & live with the pain--without despair. If you never once in your life questioned the value of poetry, you'd like this book as well. (note: author is Seamus Heaney, not "Anonymous")

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    This is the Nobel lecture that Heaney gave when he won the Nobel Prize for literature (poetry). It is purportedly about the role of poetry in everyday life, but I didn't understand much of what he was talking about when I read it several years ago. This is the Nobel lecture that Heaney gave when he won the Nobel Prize for literature (poetry). It is purportedly about the role of poetry in everyday life, but I didn't understand much of what he was talking about when I read it several years ago.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Margaret1358 Joyce

    This seamlessly-crafted 29-page homage to the humanizing power of poetry presents a rock-solid defense of the role of the poetic in this world we inhabit.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicola

    A hardwon inspiration.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Richard Goodman

    Just wonderful.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

    An excellent speech.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Iosephvs Bibliothecarivs

    Read in memory of Mr. Heaney, on the day after his death.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Micah Stephens

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  20. 5 out of 5

    David

  21. 4 out of 5

    John Slavin

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gloria Sun

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ardem

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dallas Graham

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gabe

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michael Lloyd-Billington

  27. 4 out of 5

    Merry Butz

  28. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Diane

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anrpatel

  30. 4 out of 5

    John J. Eibelheuser

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